Geof Stone on NYC Stop-and-Frisk Decision
Every once in a while, I burst with pride in the American legal system. It doesn't happen as often as I would like, but Monday was such a day.
On Monday, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, a federal judge in New York City, handed down her decision in Floyd v. The City of New York. The plaintiffs in Floyd challenged the constitutionality of New York City's stop-and-frisk policy. In a truly remarkable and courageous opinion, Judge Scheindlin held that policy unconstitutional.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated." To the Framers of our Constitution, this was a fundamental precept of American freedom. This guarantee preserves our privacy and dignity, and reaffirms that in a self-governing society the government must respect the rights of the individual.